Forty Minneapolis restaurants asked Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey to prioritize public safety downtown amid concerns that crime in the city could threaten the viability of businesses, CBS Minnesota reported.
The letter urges Frey to create a plan of action to make public safety a priority in order to drive business in the area. Tanya Spaulding, who lives and works in downtown Minneapolis and is representing the restaurants in the letter, says the city is at a turning point and business owners need city leadership to focus on combating crime, according to CBS Minnesota.
“We want them to address that there is an issue in downtown that needs to be fixed now, before downtown Minneapolis goes in the wrong direction for good,” Spaulding said. “What is the plan of action? We want zero tolerance for the crime, for the harassment, for the assaults, for the theft. and we want the greater community to know it is not lawless. There is law here.”
Violence surged in Minneapolis in the weeks following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes May 25. The crime surge came as the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to dismantle the city’s police department and switch to a “community-based” public safety system.
More than 250 businesses were damaged, destroyed or looted during the riots that erupted in Minneapolis and St. Paul following Floyd’s death.
Businesses have expressed that the dismantling of the police department could deter them from doing business in Minneapolis, A survey by the Downtown Council in August showed that 45 business owners said they were considering leaving the area because of the lack of people working and socializing in the area, and also the idea that the police department could be dismantled. (RELATED: Dozens Of Minneapolis Businesses Consider Leaving, Cite Possibility Of Police Being Dismantled)